Straight Razor Safety (Newbies Please Read)

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by JoeB, May 5, 2014.

  1. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    I would like to take a moment to emphasize straight razor safety. I have heard of too many "accidents" in past few months regarding improper use of a straight razor and would like to go over some safety rules that may save your face (and other body parts) from injury.

    Rule #1: If you're in a rush switch to a cart or DE.
    There is no "rushing” with a straight razor. If you are late to work or to another engagement, grab a form of "safety" shaving. I always keep a stash of cheap disposable carts or my DEs handy for such an occasion.

    Rule #2: Keep the door closed free from distractions:
    Keep the distractions to a minimum. Leave the cell phone alone and enjoy your shave. Make sure the door is closed and all occupants know not to "barge in" while you’re shaving. The last thing you want is “Man’s Best Friend" or your significant other hitting you with the door while you’re shaving your upper lip. (I know from personal experience).

    Rule #3: Wear a towel or robe and have a mat under your feet:
    Protect your body from any accidents. Use a mat to prevent your feet from slipping. The towel or robe is to protect.....well yourself. In addition, you could put a towel over your feet just in case the razor falls.

    Rule #4: As with knife safety make sure your razor is sharp:
    A dull razor will cause you to press harder against the skin or go over spots multiple times. As with knife safety, a sharp blade will prevent accidents. Maintain your razor and hone or send it out when it is no longer sharp

    Thanks for taking the time to read this. Safety is a subject that is often overlooked when entering the world of traditional wetshaving.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  2. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Karl G, JoeB, swarden43 and 1 other person like this.
  3. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    Very good tips, Joe!
    Being a relative novice at the art of SR shaving, I am constantly reminding myself to follow certain safety protocols as to avoid any potential injuries.
    Keeping one's hand (or hands) dry, I found, is also helpful. I know this isn't easy when 'wet-shaving' but one gains a bit more confidence with a sure grip upon the razors handle.
    I like the tip on minimizing distractions. I find it very important to stay focused or 'in a zone' when SR shaving. The act requires the shaver to pay attention and stay attuned to what the razor is actually doing. I've lost concentration (heard a noise outside), turned my head left towards the noise—and cleanly sliced a 1/2" cut on my cheek horizontally. This was one of the rare times I've actually drawn blood SR shaving. For the vast majority of SR shaves, because I take my time and pay attention, I rarely draw blood (nicks or weepers). It pays dividends to pay attention. :cool:
    Brian_1973, Tdmsu, Karl G and 3 others like this.
  4. poppi

    poppi Well-Known Member

    Thanks, good things to know/think about
    Carbide Mike and Karl G like this.
  5. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

  6. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Member

    I've whacked my fingers several times moving around. Its no joke, always mind the location of the blade.

    Used to nick the most on careless set downs of blade angle to the face.
    Brian_1973 and Karl G like this.
  7. 45auto

    45auto Well-Known Member

    Weighting the pro's & con's of shaving with a strait blade do they really shave closer than a DE razor?Take care 45auto
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  8. Jamie Mahoney

    Jamie Mahoney Well-Known Member

    They do shave closer, but the learning curve coupled with the maintenance can be to great for most people to take on today when you consider their busy lifestyles.
  9. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    They CAN be inherently more comfortable and closer, but as my friend Jamie just pointed out the learning curve to get there is steeper for the same reason..
    The trick to SR shaving is that they are infinitely adjustable to the end user, starting with blade angle, and going on to type of grind, type of hone, type of strop, type of steel even, all these things and more can be "Adjusted" to the individual's taste.. This ability makes them tailored to each person, BUT it also means that you have to learn all this to get the most out of the shave :p

    So with the plus comes the minus
  10. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    The fact that it doesn't come easy, that there is a challenge, was for me one of the most compelling reasons to venture into attempting to master the straight razor. Can I shave closer with an SR than a good DE? Not yet...but I am getting a bit closer with each SR shave to matching the smoothness and ease of using a DE razor. I enjoy the challenge. I also enjoy the all the peripheral components of SR shaving (the variety of blades and materials, the honing, the stropping, the maintenance, upkeep and restoration), but that's because I'm a hands-on 'tinkerer' who enjoys a challenge. So I am okay with the occasional 'minus' so long as the 'pluses' (a great shaving experience that keeps improving) are out there to strive towards.
    Hogie, Brian_1973, Jayaruh and 9 others like this.
  11. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    The journey to become a proficient straight shaver is a long and challenging, but very rewarding. The learning curve to shave is difficult and even more difficult to learn how to hone, but ........ if you can resist the powerful AD of straight razors and their friends, you will never need to buy another razor again.
  12. Bristle Me

    Bristle Me Insufficient

    Most certainly, excellent advice and words to live/shave by.

    As for #3, :signs011:
    Additionally, I have enough problems without inadvertently....."altering" myself.
    So, I have a pair of house shoes with leather tops and I'm not ashamed to admit
    that I wear them when shaving with a straight razor.

    Also, when you drop that razor (and you will) DON'T try to catch it! Let if fall.


    Is it worth the time and trouble spent learning to use/maintain the straight razor?
    I think that depends on the type of person you are. I enjoy doing the things the "old" way
    and I like doing things that most other people can't or won't even try to do. My wife says
    that is just one of my many mental defects. If you are afflicted with this defect too,
    then a straight razor may be just the thing for you.

    Be warned though, if you ever have to shave in a locker room situation (as I do at work occasionally)
    the straight razor can cause issues. Many people recognize it only as weapon, and not a tool.
    The last time I used mine at work some of the "big bad" line hands went to the shop superintendent and
    claimed that my using a straight razor in the locker room was just a "performance" meant to intimidate them.
    I've been asked to shave with a "normal" razor from now on.....

    Honestly, I never had any thought that others would be frightened or intimidated by my using a straight razor.

    But now that I know..... :signs136:
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
    Tdmsu, Karl G, RyX and 3 others like this.
  13. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    Great post. Don't ever try to catch a razor!
    In a world surrounded by instagram, facebook and any other form of social media, its comforting to know that for at least 15 minutes a day you can go back in time and remember how different life used to be. Often shaving is considered a chore and rushed. Its cool to have a hobby you can do everyday.
    Hogie, Brian_1973, Karl G and 6 others like this.
  14. 45auto

    45auto Well-Known Member

    Wow really those lineman could not see beyond their fear,although I do not shave with with a SR they have lost out on a situation to learn and when we stop wanting to learn we die to bad.
  15. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    I had a similar issue at the YMCA. I shaved a few times with my straight after a workout and before I went to work. Alot of the older members had nice things to say and were amazed that people stil shaved like their "grandpas". I had a complaint from a member to the front desk because they felt it could beused as a weapon and it wasn't safe.
    So I'm not allowed to use my straight razor but oddly enough they have no issue with me carrying my 9mm as long as I have a permit and is locked in a locker while working out. Soooooo......................... There is still hope?
    Brian_1973, Mike-R41 and Karl G like this.
  16. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    Really? Some people......:angry032:

    And speaking of the YMCA, here's an interesting response on one of their forms....:p
    Brian_1973, Jayaruh, Karl G and 7 others like this.
  17. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    There is some truth in that statement. Lol.
    Karl G and PatrickA51 like this.
  18. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Member

    Lack of ball descension on your part does not constitute cause for change in mine.

    really problem aye? Take it up with my lawfully obtained concealed permit. Have a wonderful defenseless day.

    It doesn't have to be locked. In an emergency, locked it's useless brick. If someone takes it from ur locker it's now armed robbery.
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  19. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    In all seriousness it's probably a good thing I do not shave at the gym. All I need is one "oops" and a one way ticket to the ER is instore. I'll ok with it.
    Karl G and GDCarrington like this.
  20. SaintAccardo

    SaintAccardo Member

    I cant stand the fact that men like this even exist. It's just another instance that reinforces my dislike for the majority of the human race.
    Brian_1973, Vlasta and Karl G like this.

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